Celebrity chef José Andrés has pledged to set up water, food, and restrooms at voting locations across the country where long lines are keeping people outside for hours on end.
“I’m announcing that On election date I will set up a water, food and restrooms support system to help people standing long hours on a line, on the different States that may have a problem handling voters [sic],” the acclaimed restaurateur and chef, who immigrated from Spain, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Andrés’ tweet was in response to an aerial image of the long lines in Georgia, where voters in predominantly minority areas endured "hourslong waits, problems with new voting machines and a lack of available ballots," as NBC News reported.
Though some Democrats have advocated for a vote-by-mail system to protect voters against exposure to the virus, it’s a measure President Donald Trump opposes, though he has voted by mail.
I’m announcing that On election date I will set up a water, food and restrooms support system to help people standing long hours on a line, on the different States that may have a problem handling voters! @EmCollective https://t.co/nrqRroVyRp— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) June 10, 2020
Andrés has long been a vocal proponent of voter participation. As an ambassador of the When We All Vote campaign, he shared a video message to Latino voters before the 2018 midterm elections.
“I remember the first time I voted,” he said in the video. “I went with my wife. Our hearts were pumping. And for the first time, we felt like we were part of America.”
In 2010, Andrés founded the World Central Kitchen, a non-profit dedicated to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, Andrés went to the island, organized thousands of volunteers and served over 3.5 million meals.
“We cover blind spots. We bring leadership where sometimes leadership is totally gone,” Andrés told NBC News during that time.
Throughout the pandemic, World Central Kitchen has delivered meals across the country and prepared supplies for passengers quarantined on the Grand Princess cruise ship in March.
Andrés provided meals to federal workers in Washington, D.C. during the government shutdown in 2019. "We cannot have a single mother with children, going hungry, because a government that is supposed to be supporting the people is doing the contrary, they're taking the people hostage."
He famously withdrew his plans to open a restaurant in the new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. in 2015 after Trump, who was then campaigning for the presidency, called Mexicans "rapists."